‘Twas The Night Before A Quilter’s Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
The only one sleeping was a Quilter’s dear spouse.
The Log Cabin stockings were almost completed,
“Just a few stitches left,” our sweet quilter repeated.
“Then I can hang them and head off to
finish the pillows I’m making, fulfilling Mom’s wish
For something quilted to put on her couch”,
as she pricked her poor finger, our quilter said,”Ouch!”
When from out in the kitchen there arose such a crashing,
she sprang from her work, and she dropped all her sashing.
Away to the doorway she flew like a plane,
wondering just what was happening and who she would blame.
When what to her wondering eyes should appear,
but Old Mrs. Claus and her bag of quilt-gear…
With her elves bearing gifts, through the kitchen she came,
she directed and pointed and called them by name.
“Now Elna, now Pfaff, now Bernina and Viking,
the Hoffman and Mumm should be just to her liking.
To the sewing room – there, it’s just back of the hall, now dash
away, dash away, dash away all!”
“My Dear,” said The Claus (as she liked to be called),
“There really is no need to worry at all.
Your projects will all be completed this night,
 I’m terribly sorry we gave you a fright.”
“Sit down. Have some tea. It’s relaxing, you’ll see.
My friends and I’ve come a long way to help Thee.”
She thought she was dreaming, our dear Quilter did,
In fact she quite feared that she near flipped her lid!
But the flash of the needles and twist of the thread soon gave her to know
she had nothing to dread.
They spoke no more words, but went straight to their sewing.
How the work went so quickly she had no way of knowing.
The stitches, how fine! The corners, how straight!
This Claus-woman’s talent was awfully great.
They finished the pillows, then started to quilt.
Before they all knew it, the whole thing was built!
Now old Mrs. Claus, she knew quilters real well,
and she knew they’d need help on this night most of all
So she said to our quilter, “Just move over dear,
I’ve brought my own needle. We’ll get done, never fear.”
I told dear old Santa about what quilters do.
How they plan all these projects but have other work too.
So he taught me his magic for doing things fast.
There, that pillows done. Now this is the last.
They tidied their thread snips, and picked up the scraps
and chased our dear quilter’s six cats from their laps.
As they scurried away with their thimbles still gleaming
dear Mrs. Claus paused, her cap ribbons streaming.
“Merry Christmas, my dear, now just have a ball!”
Author Unknown

Fall Foliage Series: Barns and Beautiful Buildings

There is something about an old barn with a breathtaking background. Don’t you just love them? Today, I am sharing fall photos of barns, churches, gristmill, log home and old homeplaces.

1Barns_landscape - Page 001Historic Wimmer Mill on our road.

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7Barns portrait - Page 002Beautiful historic church in Newport, Virginia (Giles County).

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Fall Foliage Series: Mabry Mill

Today I am celebrating my 100th blog post! To make this day extra special, I am posting photos from one of my favorite places: Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Mabry Mill’s claim to fame is being the most photographed place on the Blue Ridge Parkway and some even say it is the most photographed place in the US.

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Mabry Mill - Page 006   Mabry Mill quilt - Page 001My quilted rendition and design of Mabry Mill. Mabry Mill - Page 001What makes this places extra special is the history of the couple who built it.

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Courtesy of the National Park Service

At age twenty, Ed moved to Pulaski, Virginia, to work in the coal mines. He returned two years later with cash and something bigger and better than money—Mintoria Dehart Mabry, known as Lizzie. A man with big ideas needed a big wife. She stood five foot ten, wore a man’s size eight shoe, and needed nine yards of material to make a skirt. Ed and Lizzie married in 1891. He called her “Boss” and they were together almost forty years before he died.

Operating a mill, never an easy task, brought special challenges to the Mabry’s. They encountered problems that would have been overwhelming for most people—but not for Ed and Lizzie. He built the gristmill between 1905 and 1908.

Lizzie was anxious and ready to be the miller. She hadn’t gone to those mines and pumped those bellows just to be a good housewife. As a “modern woman,” she wanted to be the miller and by golly—she was. Customers brought white corn, stood on the mill platform, and poured shelled corn into a hopper that fed kernels between the rotating stones. Lizzie controlled the space between the stones with a lever to obtain a proper texture of meal or flour. Continue reading

Fall Foliage Series: Shawsville Pike and Alta Mons

Reflecting on one of my favorite little waterfalls on Shawsville Pike.

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En route to Alta Mons on Shawsville Pike.

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Some quilters, who have attended my past retreats, have stayed in this quaint farmhouse (which we have outgrown). We dined on the back porch with glorious mountain views.

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Fall Foliage Series: Trees

Trees
by Joyce Kilmer

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Trees_Portrait - Page 004I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree.

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Trees_Landscape - Page 008A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

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Trees_Portrait - Page 007A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

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A nest of robins in her hair;

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Trees_Portrait - Page 005Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain

Trees_Portrait - Page 001Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Fall Foliage Series: Buffalo Mountain Hike

In October and November, I set aside time to take advantage of Virginia’s spectacular fall foliage and took numerous photos—nearly 2,000 to be exact. It has taken quite some time to organize and categorize my photo shoots. Since it is officially still fall, I will be sharing those photos on my blog and Facebook posts.

I am so excited about my hike up Buffalo Mountain! I have wanted to do this for a decade (literally). It has been on my bucket list but every time I planned it, some major things happened to postpone it (strep throat, broken leg).

I am so thankful that my friend, Francine and my cousin Tibby and a few of her friends joined me on Oct. 22. What an awesome day! The colors were at peak and we didn’t have rain to contend with.

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